Thursday, January 7

The Quince

My eyes had never graced one before. “What does it look like? Can I eat it like an apple?” I questioned. “No, you can’t eat it like an apple and it looks like this,” shared the man at the British market, as he pulled out a yellow roundish fruit that reminded me of a yellow, squashed pear or apple. “Does it taste like a pear because it looks like one?” I queried. “No it is does not taste like a pear, and it does not taste good raw. Here, try this.” The kind man found a wee spoon and scooped a morsel of marmalade onto the spoon for me to try. “Mmmmm, that is really tasty and different.” And I walked away with my first Quince purchase of three minute bottles: Marmalade, Jelly and Jam.

Taken by Laura McCandlish for NPR

I was new to quinces, but they were not new to the world. Grown in Iran, Armenia, Romania, Croatia, Turkey as well as for 4,000 years in Asia. It is perhaps older than the apple and part of the pear family, although like the kind man mentioned, not to be eaten raw. Quinces even have an honourable mention in literature as a ‘golden apple’ within Greek God myths, Roman dining, Songs of Solomon and 17th Century English cookbooks.

Perhaps the joy is in the difference between the Canadian way of speaking and the English suggestions for using quince. Quince Products Ltd., the market products I purchased, have a Quince, Orange and Whisky Marmalade that mentions you use ‘a wee dram on your toast or try a shot in your porridge.’ How cute is that!  The Quince Jelly thusly states, ‘try with meat, cheese, as a tea time spread or add a spoonful to a stir-fry’. My taste buds have had it with cheese, on toast and with lamb. Delish! It has such a light, gently sweet, unique hint of tang.  Thank you to the Wainwright’s at the Christmas Market for introducing me to a new fruit to add to my fruit repertoire.  Mmmmm! 

Fruit and Vegetable of the Month

Simply Recipes

Quince Jam: Step by Step

A New Taste for Quince

Quince with Wine

A version of what I bought from Quince Products Ltd at the market.
Emma Bridgewater Quince Tin filled with Quince Products goodies
and a super Culinary Concept Leaf Design Spoon Image browser.

Just for fun, I bought a few bottles from these people too and so delicious!  Chilliqueen

1 comment:

  1. Half way through reading your post, I was afraid you were going to buy a quince and go home and try making jam. But no! You came trhough for me -- bought it already made.

    Yes, Tonia! You rock!